The premise of "Only In America With Larry The Cable Guy" is similar to Mike Rowe's "Dirty Jobs,": Larry the Cable Guy goes beyond jobs and searches out unique and interesting history across the country. Calling it educational is a bit of a stretch, but it does offer some interesting tidbits of history (talking about a company that put gold flakes in cereal, he manages: "Who says skidmarks aren't worth somethin'?") from various points around the country as Larry looks into things like mining for gold. While I was never a fan of Larry's comedy, I have to give the guy credit for managing to tweak his redneck formula enough to fit into a show like this - and he's like Mike Rowe in the way that he occasionally tries to flirt with women.
While "Only In America" isn't History Channel's familiar fare (after all, I remember growing up watching History Channel when the series were somewhat dry, though engaging and informative education pieces), it does a nice job of finding balance between history and entertainment the whole family can enjoy. It's a way of entertaining the kids, and yourself, while learning some new facts about jobs around the country. Though not as great as History Channel's other reality show, "Pawn Stars," the show does deserve some credit for managing to insert some relatively interesting historical tidbits throughout each episode.
As for Larry the Cable Guy, I've never been a fan, but this series presents him in a different manner and it works reasonably well. He shows genuine interest in the people he's interviewing, as well as their hobby/trade. Additionally, like Rowe, he's not afraid to jump right in and be a part of the action. LLarry's persona is not left behind for the series, but with "Only In America," it becomes less in-your-face, "git-r-done", and more entertaining and involving due in part to his ability to interact with everyone he meets.
While not every segment is totally engrossing, each episode does manage to include some interesting facts and entertainment that help balance the series as a whole. Some of the highlights include the previously mentioned gold mining episode, "Larry Digs For Gold" (which provides a good overview of mining, both venturing deep into the mines to looking at the above-ground operations), "Larry Is Amish" (because that's just actually a genuinely funny set-up) and "Larry is a Logger". Larry visiting the land of dairy also proves interesting in the elegantly-titled "Larry Cuts the Cheese", as the comedian visits Wisconsin to learn about making cheese.
"Only In America With Larry The Cable Guy," is being released in volumes, which means there are only ten episodes and unfortunately there are no extra features. I wasn't a fan of Larry going in, but this series puts him to better use than a number of his prior projects (the series is certainly much easier to sit through than "Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector"), and I found some decent-to-good laughs scattered throughout the episodes.
This set offers 11 episodes.
VIDEO: The series is presented by Newvideo in 1.33:1 full-frame. Image quality is perfectly acceptable, with reasonable clarity and detail throughout the running time. Colors remained warm and clean, with no smearing or other faults. Overall, the presentation resembles broadcast quality.
SOUND: The show's 2.0 audio remained crisp and well-recorded. Some mild background ambience was clearly heard during the outdoor scenes.
EXTRAS: None. I can't believe there aren't some outtakes or deleted scenes laying around that could have been included here.
Final Thoughts: While it's not great television, "Only in America" is better than expected, offering some enjoyable takes on history and culture in various US locations. Larry the Cable Guy is still Larry the Cable Guy, but in a manner that's a little less "Git-R-Done". This volume offers some better episodes ("Larry is Amish") than the prior edition. Rent it.